The Amartithi: “Today is the day of my crucifixion”-1

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Although Baba’s condition was serious, whenever Mehera was in the room, he perked up. Mehera, of course, knew that Baba’s health had deteriorated, but she felt that he would recover. Baba instructed Goher not to tell Mehera how critical his condition was; he wanted her to remain cheerful and not to worry. Toward the end, however, Goher did reveal more details about his health, as Baba was not eating anything.

“Naturally, all the mandali were coming and going,” Goher said. “Ginde was coming, so Mehera realized it was very serious. She would ask questions about what is being done, and I reported to her about his condition, but I intentionally made it out to be less serious than it was. I myself was misguided, because these things had happened to Baba so many times before, and I said to myself, it was just because of the big darshan coming [as his health always declined before any such program].

“Mehera felt that Baba would be all right after some time; we all felt the same way, invariably. We didn’t realize the situation. I never expected Baba to drop his body; that thought didn’t even pass through my mind. Baba always prepared Mehera for things. This [the dropping of his body] was the one thing he didn’t prepare her for.”

In the days preceding the 31st, Baba often sent Mani, Goher, or Rano to Mehera with this message: “Be brave. Remain cheerful and do not worry.”

“Not to worry is very difficult to obey,” said Mehera. “I told Baba, ‘Your health is not good, how can I not worry? I am worried. But I will try and be brave.’ ”

It would be Baba’s last order to Mehera.

Tuesday, 28 January was the worst day so far. Baba had spasms the entire day, and not even Mehera was spared witnessing his suffering. He experienced severe spasms as the men massaged him, and they actually had to hold down his body.

The next day, surprisingly, Baba was somewhat better. “One day, Baba appeared so strong and well,” Mani observed, “so Eruch wrote home that Baba was feeling much stronger each day. It gave you the feeling that he would now be improving, but the next day, he could be worse; the following day, fine again.”

At 3:45 A.M., [31 January 1969] all of the men mandali were summoned. Violent spasms shook the Beloved’s body. At about 4:00 A.M., Baba told Goher to wake Mehera and Mani. Goher kept the inside door ajar. Mehera stood in the doorway, since the mandali were in Baba’s room. She could not see Baba, but she heard what he said through Eruch.

Goher related: “I used to always worry and tell Baba, ‘I don’t know whether I’m doing the right thing for you or not. I feel so responsible, there’s no one to help me.’ ”

Now, Baba declared to all: “Whatever Goher has done, she has given me the right treatment. She is not to be blamed for anything that happens to me. She is not responsible.”

Said Goher: “Even then, I didn’t realize that Baba was saying this because he would drop his body.” Mehera and Mani left, but they did not go back to sleep. Instead, they washed and remained ready, as Baba might call them at any moment. The mandali stayed until 7:00 A.M., when Baba told them to have tea and breakfast; the women would look after him now.

Baba was using a surgical bed, which had been raised, so he was sitting up in bed. Mehera washed Baba’s face and shaved him with the electric razor, while the others cleaned his room and changed his drinking water. Since it was cold, Mehera did not change Baba’s sadra. Baba was not able to drink, so they gave him straws to sip some water and tea. He drank very little tea that morning.

Baba was breathing heavily, and Mani asked, “Baba, should we call another doctor?”

“What is the date today?” Baba asked.

“The 31st”

Baba had a spasm. Still, he wrote with his finger on his chest. “Thirty-first. Today is the day of my crucifixion. How I suffer nobody knows, and yet I have to suffer for seven days more.”

Mehera asked, “Seven days more from when?”

“It starts from tomorrow.”

Mehera said, “But let it start from today. Let it [your suffering] be cut down by one day, by starting today.”

“All right,” Baba said. “Let it be from today.” Mehera had no idea What she was asking.

— Mehera Meher, p478

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